In the middle of my junior year at university in my home country of South Korea, I was troubled because I had only a few ideas about what I wanted to do for my future job, even though my friends had specific goals for their future careers. For three years, I had studied economics, marketing, and trade, but I had not figured out which field I like the most. But luckily, during summer vacation, I found Work English Study Travel (WEST), an internships abroad program, online. It offers two-month language class and four-month internship that is related to the each student’s major. I studied English, wrote essay and did interview to get into the program. After being accepted, I went to New York City, where I took English Business and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) class, and then finally got matched with an internship at the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.
But while I was excited, at the same time, I got really nervous with my still-developing language skills and no prior office work experience. I only worked part-timer for a simple job before, so I was worried about not completing the task correctly or making a big mistake. Fortunately, my worries disappeared quickly and I enjoy every day in here now.
Two months at the Arlington Chamber helped me grow up and learn. Before I started work here, all I knew was a chamber works to strengthen community economic environment. Through experience here, I now have learned that a chamber works in a variety of ways to improve the overall area by supporting education, volunteering, and business. I have also learned how to use Microsoft Office and manage parts of the website and databases, as well as improve my English and gain further knowledge of the culture.
Interning abroad was not easy at first, but everything I have learned has made this experience invaluable, helpful, and useful. My most important takeaway from working here is that it made me start to think seriously and make specific plans for my life after senior year. It broadened my knowledge and helped me become more open-minded and flexible. I also learned that communication and networking between organizations are two of the important factors in professional and business development. Two months passed by quickly, but I think this term is my turning point. I am looking forward my next two months with Chamber to learn and to experiencing more new things.